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DISHS Releases 2011-12 School Improvement Action Plan

posted Nov 5, 2011, 9:56 AM by Todd West
Each year, DISHS develops a “School Improvement Action Plan.” The plan is developed using a process of continuous improvement. For the past five years, DISHS has developed some school-wide goals to drive its improvement efforts. At the end of each school year, the school's professional staff “takes stock” of its progress towards that year's goals. Data from a variety of sources is used- any benchmarks that have been set in relation to specific goals, student achievement data, and feedback from stakeholders (sometimes formal and at other times informal) as well as other types of qualitative data. The results of the Taking Stock session are then used to identify goals for the next school year, and a School Improvement Action Plan is developed over the summer for the coming year.

The 2011-12 School Improvement Action Plan contains the same three goals and eight improvement strategies which were identified in the spring of 2010 as part of writing the School Improvement Grant. The three goals and eight strategies represent a rather comprehensive school improvement effort, touching on initiatives as diverse as basic skills attainment to parent engagement and from standards-based practices to dropout prevention. We feel that all of our goals and strategies represent a multi-year improvement effort and therefore are revised from year to year but we did not add or delete any in an effort to maintain consistent focus on some high leverage goals.

As you look at the “landing page” for the School Improvement Action Plan, you will see the three goals and eight strategies listed. There are links for each goal which more clearly defines both what attainment of the goal will look like as well as baseline data. Similarly, each strategy has a link which will take you to the “action planning” page for each strategy, including baseline data for the strategy, a benchmark for 2011-12, a list of concrete action steps to be taken to reach the benchmark, and a summary of the work done in 2010-11 for each goal. Much of the baseline data has already been reported to the board previously (graduation and dropout rates, NWEA test results, etc.) so it is mostly the 2011-12 benchmarks that represent “new” information.

Two other efforts will have a major influence on the 2012-13 iteration of the School Improvement Action Plan. The strategic planning process will most likely provide some form of guidance, at least from the “10,000 feet” level. It might also be possible and even desirable for the strategic plans and School Improvement Action Plans to function as an integrated planning system, much like Tiers I and II in Doug Reeves' holistic accountability system. Also, DISHS's participation in the League of Innovative Schools will require DISHS to align its School Improvement Action Plan with the Global Best Practices document. Since DISHS already had a nearly finalized draft of its action plan completed when the LIS got started, we are going to focus on melding the two together this year and next. Much of the content is the same, only the vocabulary and explicit reference to GBP are different.